| Simulation of phytoplankton distribution and variation in the Bering-Chukchi Sea using a 3-D physical-biological model - :13038 | Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR)
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Simulation of phytoplankton distribution and variation in the Bering-Chukchi Sea using a 3-D physical-biological model
  • Published Date:
    2016
  • Source:
    Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans, 121(6), 4041-4055.
Filetype[PDF - 1.81 MB]


Details:
  • Description:
    A three-dimensional physical-biological model has been used to simulate seasonal phytoplankton variations in the Bering and Chukchi Seas with a focus on understanding the physical and biogeochemical mechanisms involved in the formation of the Bering Sea Green Belt (GB) and the Subsurface Chlorophyll Maxima (SCM). Model results suggest that the horizontal distribution of the GB is controlled by a combination of light, temperature, and nutrients. Model results indicated that the SCM, frequently seen below the thermocline, exists because of a rich supply of nutrients and sufficient light. The seasonal onset of phytoplankton blooms is controlled by different factors at different locations in the Bering-Chukchi Sea. In the off-shelf central region of the Bering Sea, phytoplankton blooms are regulated by available light. On the Bering Sea shelf, sea ice through its influence on light and temperature plays a key role in the formation of blooms, whereas in the Chukchi Sea, bloom formation is largely controlled by ambient seawater temperatures. A numerical experiment conducted as part of this study revealed that plankton sinking is important for simulating the vertical distribution of phytoplankton and the seasonal formation of the SCM. An additional numerical experiment revealed that sea ice algae account for 14.3-36.9% of total phytoplankton production during the melting season, and it cannot be ignored when evaluating primary productivity in the Arctic Ocean.

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